TEAM MEMBER STORIES
How long have you been with Chestnut? 3 years
What was life before Chestnut? Before Chestnut, I did three seasons in both La Plagne in the French alps and Greece, where I was a water-sports instructor for 2 years teaching water-skiing and wakeboarding.
Tell us about your Chestnut journey? I started as part of the Chestnut academy where I worked across the Rupert Brooke, Blackbirds, Northgate, Packhorse, Black Lion and in Reservations at the Forge. I spent time working in our restaurants, bars, kitchens and reservations. I then became a roaming manager, where I assisted at The Rupert Brooke and The Black Lion. Most recently, I was promoted to Group Operations Assistant.
What has been your Chestnut highlight so far? Meeting lots of great people who I would happily have a drink with out of work.
Who has been your Chestnut mentor? I had a lot of guidance and support from Sophie Jefferys (Chestnut Training and Development Manager) throughout my academy time organising training for me in all areas. I also had lots of support from John Mills (General Manager, The Three Blackbirds) as I worked with him for nearly a year across several properties.
Describe what it is like working with Chestnut in three words? Rewarding, fulfilling, entertaining
What is next for you in your Chestnut career? Continue to learn and progress in my newest role as Chestnut Operations Assistant.
How long have you been with Chestnut? I have been with Chestnut since August 2017. So, two years and five months so far!
What was life before Chestnut? Before Chestnut I studied Professional Cookery at West Suffolk College. The Northgate kitchen is where my career began straight after college.
Tell us about your Chestnut journey? At the beginning I was very quiet, and I only knew how to work on the pastry section. Over time I have conquered more sections and my confidence has grown with my new skills.
What has been your Chestnut highlight so far? My Chestnut highlight, without a doubt, was winning ‘Suffolk Young Chef of the Year’ in 2019. This competition gave me the opportunity to demonstrate what I have learnt at college and with Chestnut while raising my chef profile in our region! I was proud to represent my team at Chestnut and it has given me so much more confidence!
Who has been your Chestnut mentor? My mentor has been Greig Young, Head Chef at The Northgate. He has taught me so much about being a chef; it is more than teaching someone how to cook, anyone can do that. It is having belief in people, it is trust, it is motivating a team – That is great leadership and mentoring and of course, being nice goes a long way too.
Describe what it is like working with Chestnut in three words? Fun, belonging, growth
What is next for you in your Chestnut career? My ambition for the future with Chestnut is to able to confidently run the sauce section. I’d also like to compete in more competitions and do some more chef demos at events. I’m also aiming to become a Chef De Partie.
The definition of a "team" is where a group of individuals work together to achieve a common goal. Greig has taught me this and it is one of my favourite mantras.